A blog that tackles issues on basic education (in the Philippines and the United States) including early childhood education, the teaching profession, math and science education, medium of instruction, poverty, and the role of research and higher education.
Elections in the Philippines: Miseducating the Filipino
Since education assumes a very important place in a society, it is without doubt dependent on politics. Today is the first day of early voting for endorsing candidates to the school board in Fairfax county by the Democratic party. And in the Philippines, on Monday, the people will elect both national and local leaders. A high school classmate of mine is running for membership in the local council of the city of Manila and in one of my posts, he wrote, "Ibulid mo sa kahirapan ang tao, pakainin mo ng limos, pabobohin mo, paasahin mo, itolerate mo ang mga mali, magbebenta ng boto yan, palaging aasa sa politiko, at tuwing eleksiyon dahil gutom, ibebenta ang boto. Walang matinong politiko ang maiboboto." (Throw the people into poverty, feed them with alms, make them ignorant, give them false hopes, do not correct their wrong ways, then they will sell their votes, they will always rely on politicians and on every election because they are starving, they will sell their votes. Thus, no good politician will ever be elected.) It is a such a dark statement regarding politics in the Philippines. Yes, there maybe irregularities such as vote buying but even practices deemed unacceptable in other societies are regarded as normal. Religious groups do not hesitate in endorsing candidates for political office. And what is deeply flawed is the voting process itself. On Monday, Filipinos will be voting for twelve senators and for their local legislative branch, eight councilors. It is already difficult for anyone to choose one person to represent your voice, but Filipinos have to choose twelve people at the national level and eight at the local level. It is no surprise that elections in the Philippines cost so much in terms of money, time and effort. It is not just corruption. It is plain stupid. The system itself is poorly designed. It expects so much from its citizens. We should not be surprised then to see how politicians and voters behave.